The Bleu Outremer Festival wants to lick our wounds…

Initiated by the ADACDCOM and POEM-ARC associations, the Bleu Outremer Festival returns in October. Several important moments are on the program of the 3rd edition of this festival like an exhibition of works of art, debates, workshops, master classes, concerts. This year, the FBOM meetings will take place in Pointe-à-Pitre, Baie-Mahault and Les Abymes.

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The aim of this festival is to offer a “journey in the heart of Creole cultures” by weaving bridges between genres, visual artists, musicians, singers, slamers, dancers, performers, researchers, etc.

The theme of the Festival is “The Artists dress”; they will try to say what they think of the ills afflicting the Guadeloupean society (lack of water, sargassum etc.) and to provide their solutions…

The guest of honor of this 3rd edition of the Festival Bleu Outremer will be Guadeloupean singer Winny Kaona who, with her Association pour le Développement de la Musique Traditionnelle – ADMT (Association for the Development of Traditional Music), initiated throughout 2018 a series of events in part of the commemoration of the centenary of the birth of the famous multi-talented artist, Moune de Rivel (1918-2014).

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The visual arts are displaying

As last year, the Bleu Outremer Festival will begin with a major exhibition of works of art on the general theme “Les artistes pansent” (The artists dress) which will take place from October 5 to 31 at the Paul Mado Library in the town of Baie-Mahault. Will be present several artists, some of which were already part of the second exhibition “Cartographie de la Jeune Création en Guadeloupe” (Cartography of the Young Creation in Guadeloupe) held at the Pavillon de la Ville in Pointe-à-Pitre in October 2017, namely Ronald Cyrille, Denis Ninine, Samuel Gélas, Béliza Troupé, Samuel Mazaniello, Atadja Lewa, Jérôme Jean-Charles, Minia Biabiany, Dawud Cérito “Kamun”, Anaïs Cheleux, Cédric Isham Calvados, Anaïs Verspan, Nèfta Poetry, Laurence Roussas etc. On the evening of the opening, choreographer Maryvonne Erdan’s dance troupe, composed of disabled people, should present a performance entitled “L’Autre Émoi”. Schoolchildren will have the opportunity to visit this exhibition and ask questions to artists…

In addition, professional meetings and study days are also planned, especially around Creole cultures, on October 13th, 23rd and 30th

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Overseas artists on stage

This year, the Memorial ACTe is fully associated with the shows and concerts which are part of the event. For this purpose, from 24 to 30 October, the Bleu Outremer Festival will become the Bleu Outremer FestivalMemorial ACTe.

Many artists should perform in the Salle des Congrès et des Arts Vivants of the MACTe (Congress and Living Arts Hall): poet and storyteller Joby Bernabé (Martinique); slammer Thierry Mapoula aka “Silansyeux” (Martinique); singers Luc and Vaiteani (Tahiti); singer Érik Pédurand (Guadeloupe) who had nevertheless announced to the media his withdrawal from music, some time ago, and pianist Mario Canonge (Martinique); slammer, poet and performer Paul Wamo (New Caledonia) who was already there, last year; flautist Yann Cléry (French Guiana); biguine singer Winny Kaona (Guadeloupe).

It should be noted that on Sunday October 28, “International Creole Day”, the Memorial ACTe will also receive several choreographers for three dance initiation workshops for all lovers of this artistic discipline, whatever level they have. Indeed, from 10:00 am to 12:00 am, Virginie Bewitch (Guadeloupe) will be on stage for an introduction to Caribbean dances; from 2 pm to 4 pm, Natty Montella (Guadeloupe) will teach her knowledge of modern jazz dance; from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, the popular meeting “Kalakaswé” will be presented by Karen Jean-Louis, Daniel Losio and Jean-Philippe Demain (Guadeloupe).

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Popularizing and making profitable the arts

However, it is unfortunate that the Bleu Outremer Festival which is supposed to bring together all the levels of our overseas societies (Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Reunion, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna…) – in other words, “to democratize culture” – has a rather “elitist” reputation among some people despite the figures announced by the organizers.

It is true that the reading of the kitt press of the festival, with its difficult words, is not understandable to everyone. “A festival is always rooted in a territory that identifies it”, we can read there, but it would be necessary that ALL children of the country understand the message delivered…

We are quite surprised that a lot of artists from several disciplines and from other French overseas territories not participate in this Festival Bleu Outremer; only the musical part should receive six artists who come from somewhere else.

We can also wonder about the knock-on effect ont the economy of this new festival because the era of festivals that were created in Guadeloupe just to have fun must be in the past. Today, a festival must absolutely bring in money in a territory as it is the case in the vast majority of Caribbean islands by attracting tourists who are already there, attracting visitors from abroad and not only by attracting the inhabitants of the archipelago and “recycling” their money in addition to public subsidies, then to applaud loudly and claim that the festival was “a great success”